Guest blog by Kim Olson, Learning Ally's February 2017 Tutor of the Month
In 2005, my career path led me to a long-term (almost year long) first-grade substitute assignment. During this time, I attended a Wilson
Introductory In-Service Workshop offered by a reading specialist working in the school district. I immediately saw the value of the program.
There is a great need for a different method of good reading and spelling instruction that goes beyond memorization and the old standard pedagogies. This multi-sensory method captures students of all learning abilities teaching the six syllable types their rules.
This need is so great, in fact, that now I run my own private practice, Tutoring Precisely
. Dyslexic students’ need for instruction outside of a school setting, or in addition to Wilson instruction within a school, is great. These students are finally being identified! This became a perfect way for me to work in the field that I love and deliver a program that works! My student load is consistently 15 or more students, ranging in age from second grade through adult, typically with a diagnosis of dyslexia, ADD and ADHD, auditory and/or language processing disorders, and twice exceptional (2e) students.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is getting to be there when students realize their POWER as they become a reader! Education and learning is power, and reading, spelling and comprehension touches every school subject and life skill.
When students are taught why and how to use a reading and spelling rule, gain speed and accuracy, and are able to understand what they are reading, the light bulb goes off. There is no greater prize.
Self-confidence breeds an insatiable need for more knowledge. I always tell them that they are gaining a superpower!
Parents need to know that early identification and intervention is key.
Find an intervention that fits your child’s needs and personality. Find the right tutor. Make sure the program is being taught with fidelity. Be the advocate that your child needs.
Start your own intervention by reading aloud and using assistive tech such as Learning Ally
! This is a reliable interactive resource that the student can use independently and will introduce them to a world of knowledge that might otherwise be closed to them due to their disability.
In my experience, audiobooks, especially human-narrated books like Learning Ally
, are a welcome solution to a struggling reader. The value of being read to has been proven many times over. Learning Ally takes this a few steps further by allowing the reader to follow along by highlighting the text and being able to control the reading speed.
I highly recommend Learning Ally to my students' parents. Audiobooks makes reading every day a joy and something to look forward to rather than a daunting task.
Completing the school required 20 to 30 minutes a day reading for school is easily accomplished and fun. The Learning Ally library is so vast that there isn’t a taste that isn’t met. No longer is the student excluded from book discussions, Battle of the Books competitions, or unable to gather information for written work.
It's simply a joy to be able to do what I do!
About the Author:
Kim Olson is Learning Ally's February 2017 Tutor of the Month
. As a Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner
and a recognized International Dyslexia Association
Practitioner, she runs her own private practice. Kim is the COO, CEO, CFO, Secretary, Janitor, Tutor, and owner of Tutoring Precisely
located in Naperville, IL. She's part of Learning Ally's Tutor Network